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Suzanne Johanningsmeier

USDA-ARS Research Food Technologist

Schaub Food Science Building, Room 322E

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Area(s) of Expertise

The mission of the Food Science Research Unit, USDA-ARS, SAA, located in Raleigh, NC, is to carry out basic and applied research related to processing, safety and quality of fermented and acidified vegetables including cucumbers, peppers, cabbage and sweetpotatoes. Areas of investigation include chemical and sensory properties of fermented and acidified vegetables, fermentation biochemistry, and metabolite profiling by GCxGC-ToFMS.

The current objectives of my program are to:

  1. develop reduced salt fermentation procedures for cucumbers that will assure microbiological stability and maintain or improve product quality;
  2. preserve non-fermented cucumbers and peppers in acidified low salt solutions to be used as process-ready ingredients for food products;
  3. preserve the textural, sensory, and visual qualities of fermented and acidified vegetables and sweetpotatoes;
  4. develop improved analytical methods for chemical characterization of fermented and acidified vegetables and sweetpotatoes; and
  5. develop fundamental knowledge of the biochemistry of bacterial responses to acid environments in order to develop practical approaches to assure microbial safety of acidified vegetable products.

The long-term goal of my program is to work at the intersection of applied and basic research to improve product quality, reduce processing wastes, and advance the science of fruit and vegetable preservation.

Service Activities

  • Institute of Food Technologists Dogwood Section, 2014-2017
  • Phi Tau Sigma Local Section
  • Technical advisor to the Pickle Packers International, Manufacturing and Technology Committee, 2011-present
  • Invited lecturer in the Acidified Foods GMP School, 2012-present


  • Institute of Food Technologists LEAD 360 cohort, 2014
  • USDA-ARS SAA Technology Transfer Award, 2014: For commercial-scale inception of the newly developed sodium chloride-free cucumber fermentation technology, Food Science Research Unit-Mt. Olive Pickle Company-B&G Foods


Ph.D. Food Science North Carolina State University 2011

M.S. Food Science North Carolina State University 1999

B.S. Food Science Purdue University 1995